Recently Kirk Thatcher was interviewed for The Muppet Mindset, and when talking about how the fans didn't like that there was a lot more focus on new characters and less on the known characters, he said that the Muppets should grow in characters and that The Muppet Show was introducing new characters all the time (though I feel the last two seasons didn't really have many new recurring characters, just Pops, Rizzo, Foo-Foo, and to a certain extent Lips and Gaffer, maybe Geri and the Attrics, they tried and then dropped Winny and Betsy Bird after one appearance each). But then Sesame Street hasn't had many recurring characters in the past ten years. Of course that's a little different, as that's from Sesame Workshop as opposed to Henson, and I'm not sure whether Kirk Thatcher worked on Sesame Street. But then again, for the first three decades (maybe three and a half), Sesame Street was always introducing new characters, but then in the past decade new recurring characters have been less frequent. The only new main characters we've gotten were Abby, Murray, and to a certain extent Ovejita and Segri (and though he was around before, Horatio the Elephant seems to have become more of a main character in the past decade). And not only that, but many early supporting characters continued to appear frequently for three decades, before being dropped, used less frequently, or reduced to occasional cameos/background appearances (and not just characters originated by Jim Henson or Richard Hunt). Though at times some characters would go a few years without being seen in new material, only to come back on a semi-regular basis (this includes such characters as Mumford, Mr. Johnson, Grundgetta, and Hoots the Owl). Heck, there have been periods when the show didn't have much of longtime major characters like Ernie, Bert, Big Bird, and The Count (and is it just me or has Zoe been used a lot less in the last few years, even before Fran Brill retired?). But as I type this, I think of something else: During all those years when new characters (who were intended on being major characters) were frequently being introduced, The Jim Henson Company owned the rights to the Sesame Street Muppets. Creation of new recurring characters lessened when Sesame Workshop obtained the rights to the characters, so maybe it is the two companies having different views on introducing new characters. Of course, reducing the show to 26 episodes a year might also have something to do with it (the 40th anniversary book has a quote about how with 26 episodes a year there's no room for "flop characters"), as well as the need for every episode to have many long segments (many of which are limited to a few or even just one familiar character) each day. And I have just now realized that in the last few years that Henson owned the characters and the first few years that Sesame Workshop owned them that most of the recurring characters introduced didn't last.